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Wednesday, 08 August 2018 20:02

Consecrated life vital to Church's health - Archbishop

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0818 Mass for Consecrated Life 2018 350Men and women representing about 70 religious orders and apostolic societies in the Archdiocese of Sydney gathered at St Mary’s Cathedral recently to celebrate the annual Mass for Consecrated Life, The Catholic Weekly reports.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP welcomed the nearly 200 members of consecrated life who have offered thousands of years of service to the Church with thanks for their “wonderful variety of charisms”.

Archbishop Fisher said the Mass in the cathedral’s crypt was “to give thanks for the significant contribution that men and women religious have made here in Sydney, pray that God will grace us with new vocations and new forms of religious life, and call for a renewed culture of vocations in our homes, schools, parishes and beyond”.

Religious life requires dedication, determination and perseverance, he said in his homily.

“We’ve all known times when it might have been easier, more humanly attractive, more worldly-wise, give it up and abandon ship. Yet we stayed. You stayed.

“And I pay tribute to that, as the Lord does in today’s Gospel passage (Jn 15:1-8), to those who continue to bear fruit, often abundantly, despite the regular pruning of our ambitions, comfort, perhaps dreams.”

Consecrated life is vital to the Church’s spiritual health, he said.

“Without the contemplative prayer and active apostolates of religious, their creativity and dynamism, and the example of their sheer devotion to God and His people, our Church is the poorer.”

The archdiocese’s vicar for religious life, Good Samaritan Sr Elizabeth Delaney, who celebrates her Golden jubilee this year, said the Mass is a wonderful opportunity “to be together, praying and giving thanks together” and especially to celebrate the jubilarians.

Dominican Sr Patricia Nichols who will next year celebrate 70 years since her religious profession said that she appreciated being able to bring people closer to the Lord through her work in education and growing in ever-deeper understanding of what the faith is all about.

“Religious life has given me life,” she said.

“As I grow older I learn more and more. It’s been a wonderful journey.”

This is an abreviated version of the original story by Marilyn Rodgriues which appeared in The Catholic Weekly. See the full story here.

Photo: Fr Charles Rue SSC and Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP at the Mass for Consecrated Life (by Giovanni Portelli, The Catholic Weekly).